Low blood levels of vitamin D may be linked to more aggressive and advanced cases of prostate cancer in men, a new study suggests. The study, published May 1 in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, suggests that vitamin D may play an important role in how prostate cancer starts and spreads.
Vitamin D has been shown to play a critical role in how cells develop and grow. “It seems to regulate normal differentiation of cells as they change from stem cells to adult cells. And it regulates the growth rate of normal cells and cancer cells,” said study author Dr. Adam Murphy, an assistant professor of urology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago. The idea is that too little of this critical vitamin in the body may cause cell growth to go awry, leading to cancer.
The RDA 15 micrograms per day for both men and women between the ages of 31-70 years. Over the age of 70, the RDA jumps to 20 micrograms. Very few foods are naturally fortified with Vitamin D. Of course, the usual source of Vitamin D is sunlight, which explains why lowered levels of Vitamin D are typically found in males in northern hemisphere, industrialized societies. Darker skin can also help screen out Vitamin D, which is why people of color commonly have a higher incidence of deficiency.
There are a few foods which are commonly enriched with Vitamin D as well, including fortified milk, cereals and soy products. it is also found in fatty fish, such as salmon, mackeral and saradines and in egg yolks.